Maryland’s Historically Black Colleges Suing State For Funding

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– In a bid to stay competitive with other universities, four of Maryland’s historic black colleges are suing the state.

Alex DeMetrick reports the lawsuit links the segregated past to desperately needed funding today.

Even as a system, the University of Maryland’s many colleges compete for money. They need it to fund everything from faculty to facilities in order to draw students.

The state’s historic back colleges also need funding, but claim they have been short-changed by a segregated past that continues on, in the form of less money for black colleges.

Now, they’ve gone to federal court to get money they say the state has promised.

“And they just haven’t done it,” said Michael Jones, a lawyer for the colleges filing the lawsuit. “And they’ve said that they want to do it, committed to doing it. But actions speak louder than words. So we’re filing a lawsuit to get them to try to fulfill their promises.”

Filing the suit are Morgan State University, Coppin State, Bowie State and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.

The colleges claim between 1990 and 2009, they should have received $644 million in state appropriations and another $450 million to help low-income students.

The state’s position is minority students have far more opportunities today than in the past at all Maryland colleges, and that current practices are no way connected to a segregated past.

“If you look at the historical documents, they say the same thing in the ’30s and ’40s and the ’50s,” Jones said. “And then in 1991, Maryland said that they were going to fix this by providing funding that took into account the cumulative under-funding. And they just didn’t do it.”

It’s an argument here, being closely followed by the nation’s other black colleges.

The civil trial is expected to last six weeks, and will be decided by a judge rather than a jury.

More from Alex DeMetrick
  • Brian

    Being British I can’t quite get my head around this “black College”thing. Isn’t that racism? I note there are no white’s only colleges. If there was I dare say that definitely would be racist.
    Then there is Black history month but no white history month because that would be racist!
    Maybe someone should be suing the state for being racist

    • Dionte

      your british so I guess you dont know…..IN american history blacks couldnt learn with whites THAT WAS RACIST!!!!!!! so we had to make our own way!

  • Debbie

    Equality? I think not. Any “white only” institutions would definitely come under fire yet “black” colleges are acceptable. They will never want “equality” because it would be the end of “for no other reason than I am black” handouts.

  • K. Smith

    what you guys are either missing or simply ignoring is the blatant history of this country. In this country, for many years it was ILLEGAL for blacks to learn to read. After that, It was nearly impossible for blacks to go to college. Even though your mainstream schools are not called white only, you can look at the population over the course of history and see that this is essentially what those institutions have become. For too many years, being black was the only thing that prevented deserving students from going on to higher education. For the record, the set-asides and affirmative programs have helped to bring equality, but there is STILL a problem. You may not notice it because it doesn’t effect you or your community. It’s ok. you can feel like you want, but I would humbly maintain that you are incorrect. Peace and blessings on you all.

    • eduardo

      K.Smith, STFU you idiot, you’re citing examples of over 150 years ago, what about today & since the civil rights acy almost fifty years ago was passed? The fact is, that most of the low class black trash are to effin lazy & anti intellectual to attend college period unless they play basketball.

  • Sharon

    As long as whites benefit from anything its legal but when someone of another race want to be treated equally then whites have a problem. The color of your skin does not justified you being treated better than others. Get over yourselves. Its a new day. At one point in history your forefathers treated African Americans worse than they treated their animals. They thought we were not capable of learning or taking care of themselves. Obviously, they were wrong AGAIN. When I was growing up in the 60’s, we were given old & worn books from the white schools. Because we were black, we weren’t given new books like the white kids because the school system obviously thought we were beneath them and undeserving. I guess you didn’t know that but it was true. Racism does still exist today because actions speak for everything. And for Sammie The Bull, your people were spoiled and pampered in the past. Our ancestors were abused & raped by the masters. Black women raised and breast feed your white babies….soooo you need to shut up.

    • Jlou

      Sharon, No my forefathers didn’t treat YOUR forefathers worse than their animals because some of my forefathers didn’t live here, they were immigrants. So, get over that one right now. Please don’t blame me for something NO ONE IN MY FAMILY DID.

      As for one group getting treated better than another because of the color of their skin, maybe you should think about that. I grew up in the 60’s and blacks and whites were in school together where I lived.

      Even with all that, you CANNOT blame a current group of people for something people did in the past.. That’s why age old hatred continues, because of people who keep hate mongering about the past. NONE OF US DID THIS. And, if you think my PEOPLE were pampered in the past, you have NO idea. No black woman raised any of our children, our ancestors lived in poverty…so hey, maybe YOU should shut up.

    • Praveen

      if you go to Yahoo local and type in Photography workshop, you shuold get a list of all kinds of workshops. Sometimes taking a 3 day workshop gives you more information than a semester college course. They can be pricey, but really worth it!I teach high school photography and have students that have gone to RIT and NYU.

  • The Dog

    Why should I be responsible for what happened three hundred years ago.
    The slaves came from Africa after being captured and sold by their own people.
    If they have a problem it should be with their ancestors not mine.

  • sam

    Brian, the schools are referred to as “Historically Black Colleges and Universities, HBCUs. They are not “Black Colleges”. When they were established, or founded Black students could not attend most U.S. universities. Despite the fact that students of all race and ethnic backgrounds attend them, most people tend to call them “Black” colleges. I hope this helps you better understand the “Black College” thing.

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